Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told business and community leaders Wednesday the state is experiencing critical momentum for economic growth and addressing infrastructure needs at the northern Kentucky Chamber Government Affairs Forum in Covington.
Beshear recognized and applauded the work of businesses throughout the pandemic to keep employees safe and help defeat the virus. While the state is facing another surge with the dangerous delta variant, the governor thanked and applauded the Kentucky Chamber for their campaign recognizing vaccination rates within workplaces as companies play a key role in the fight. He pointed to the support of the Kentucky Chamber, Northern Kentucky Chamber and other regional chambers in making the tough choices to move Kentucky forward through this pandemic.
As Kentucky works to recover from the pandemic, Beshear said it is important to get our citizens back to work and even if the federal government re-ups additional payments for unemployment insurance benefits, Kentucky will not participate again in that program once that additional $300 a week runs out at the end of the month.
Beshear said northern Kentucky has seen $2 billion in corporate investments in the last year and a half that will create more than 5,000 jobs with Amazon’s largest project in history happening in northern Kentucky, Fidelity Investments recently announcing its huge expansion, and many more investments in the region.
He said the state needs to focus on getting high paying jobs in Kentucky and on key growing industries of the future, which he feels will attract those jobs and amenities that will bring new people to the Commonwealth. Beshear said he plans to work with and listen to the business community to be more agile than before to realize this change by also looking at things like incentives and other areas to keep Kentucky competitive with other states.
To accomplish and accommodate this growth, Gov. Beshear noted the importance of infrastructure to support these critical investments. Beshear said he is doing everything he can to make sure the Brent Spence Bridge project is paid for in the federal infrastructure bill and applauded Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell for voting in favor of the bill and moving it forward. “That took courage, but it was the right thing to do,” Beshear said about McConnell’s vote.
We have a huge, bright future ahead of us that is happening right now, the governor said, adding this will be the moment the state looks back on 30 years, if the state seizes these opportunities.